NBA FIT Healthy Food Swaps
By: Amie Valpone, HHP, AADP Nutritionist and author of The Healthy Apple, www.thehealthyapple.com
Swap out Butter Substitute equal amounts of low fat plain yogurt or fat-free pureed cottage cheese for the cream or butter in mashed potatoes and casseroles.
Roast a Lean Turkey Instead of smothering the turkey with butter, rub with a mixture of olive oil and crushed herbs such as rosemary, sage, garlic, and freshly ground white pepper). Or opt for stuffing fresh and dried herbs or seasonings under the turkey skin.
Rack It Up Use a roasting rack to allow fat to drain from the roast. Baste with fat-free chicken stock mixed with freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice instead of turkey drippings, which contain excess and unnecessary fat. Try adding chicken or vegetable broth in the pan to keep meat tender and moist while roasting.
Skinny Your Gravy For an easy gravy stir 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into 1/4 cup of fat-free chicken broth at room temperature. Bring another 1 1/2 cups of broth to a simmer, and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Allow gravy to simmer, stirring until clear and thickened. Lose the yolks Substitute 2 egg whites for 1 whole egg or 3 whites for 2 whole eggs.
Sub Fruit for Fat Replace half the oil or butter in your baked goods with applesauce or other pureed fruits such as canned pumpkin, canned sweet potatoes, pureed bananas and prunes. Try lemon juice or freshly squeezed fruit juice to add to dishes such as a raspberry reduction over chicken or a cranberry glaze over lamb.
Puree Your Veggies Pureeing veggies is a great way to make a rich-tasting, low fat gravy or to create a creamy soup sans fat. Roast root veggies such as celery root, fennel, leeks with garlic, carrots, parsnips and turnips in a pot to boil with chicken broth; then puree with cooked rice or sweet potato and add to your dishes! Your guests will never know their treats are missing the excess fat!
Beware of these ‘Healthy’ Foods
• Energy Bars
o Instead, choose low-fat granola bars or create your own energy bars
o Instead choose no-sugar added granola or create your own trail mix. Create your own granola bars made with whole grain contain complex carbohydrates that provide our bodies with the energy we need to get through our busy days.
• Sugary Yogurts
o Instead create a yogurt parfait without the added sugars of yogurts
o Spin it in a smoothie, cereal, or freeze it into “ice pops.” You’ll get a good boost of calcium for your bones and teeth. Look for yogurt that’s enriched with vitamin D for additional bone benefit.
• Sushi Rolls
o Watch out for mayo and dressings hidden
o Try sashimi, cucumber rolls, steamed veggies
o Opt for “Whole Wheat” claims on cereal; instead opt for rolled oats, brown rice, quinoa, brown rice and other whole grains to make a porridge.
o Whether you like your oat cereal hot or cold, this delicious grain contains plenty of health benefits, thanks to its soluble fiber. In the small intestine, soluble fiber forms a gel that binds to some of the cholesterol there and travels out of the body. This can have the overall effect of lowering total body cholesterol.
• Instead of butter, margarine or shortening, use heart-healthy oils such as olive and canola.
• Sub in nuts, seeds, olives, hummus and avocado for healthy fats instead of processed salad dressings.
• White pasta
o instead use whole wheat pastas
o Spaghetti is a good source of carbohydrates, which offers fuel for exercise and daily activities. Top pasta with tomato sauce, which is rich in lycopene, a nutrient that may help keep your heart healthy.
• Milk chocolate
o Instead try raw cacao or dark chocolate
o For some people, a day without chocolate is like a day without sunshine. The good news is that dark chocolate contains flavonoids that may act as antioxidants, protecting your body’s cells from damage. Go easy on chocolates, however, because they contain saturated fat and calories.
• Sugar-laden Fruit juices
o Instead create your own freshly squeezed juice
o It's smart to start your day with this potassium-containing beverage. Potassium, sodium, and water all work together to help your body maintain a healthy fluid balance. Still, OJ is soaring with vitamin C, which the body uses to build bones, skin, tendons, and connective tissues.
• White pizza with full-fat cheese and pepperoni
o Swap that for whole grain with low-fat or soy cheese and vegetables
o Pizza is a fun food to enjoy on occasion. Carbohydrates from the crust offer fuel for exercise and daily activities. Go easy on cheese and meaty toppings, and add lots of veggies.
• Whole fat milk
o Try unsweetened soy milk, rice milk or skim milk
o Toast to your good health with a glass of soymilk or use it atop cereal or in coffee. Most are fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Soymilk contains a high-quality protein, which your body uses to build cell membranes, skin, and muscles. Soy protein, in a low fat diet, may help to lower cholesterol.
• Red meat
o Decrease and reach for fish
o Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon may help promote a healthy heart when eaten as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.